Captured American speaks with family for 1st time

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(NewsNation) — While the U.S. State Department works to confirm the authenticity of footage released of Russian captives Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh, Drueke’s mother Lois needs little time to confirm if its her son in the video. She knows it for certain.

Drueke believes it is indeed her son in the video based on his unique deep voice, body language and poster. But, she is working to remind people to take what is said in the video with a grain of salt as prisoners of war like her son are often forced to say things as propaganda.

Drueke and Huynh both traveled to Ukraine to fight alongside Ukrainian soldiers against the invading Russian army and were taken captive in battle north of Kharkiv.

After only communicating through State Department intermediaries for weeks, Drueke was finally able to call home this week.

Lois Drueke said she had no idea the call from Alex would be coming in.

“It was really a wonderful surprise,” she said.

Lois said Alex began the call by saying “they,” likely referring to his Russian captors, were ready to start negotiating for a release.

“Then he was able to talk about anything he wanted to,” Lois Drueke said. “He asked about his dog of course and I told him that Diesel was doing fine and we talked about the Fourth of July and how the family had gathered and we missed him.”

Alex had warned his mother in the past not to believe anything he said other than “I love you” while he was in captivity. Lois said he sounded “mostly business-like” during their call this week but said he “relaxed a bit” near the end of the call.

“It was obvious that there were people with him and they were listening to everything that Alex and I said,” Lois Drueke said. “He definitely was on a speaker phone and he was choosing his words carefully.”

Huynh’s family has not spoken with him since he was taken captive but Drueke relayed to his mother that he had spoken with Andy and he was doing fine.

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